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Tavis Smiley

News/Business. (2012) Author Anne Lamott. (CC) (Stereo)




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Us 10, You 2, Mister 2, U.s. 2, Redwood 2, Carol Lee 1, Ray Suarez 1, Ms. Marcus Miller 1, Uop 1, Boehner 1, Obama 1, Anne Lamott 1, Woody Allen 1, Ronald Reagan 1, Lamaz 1, Macneil Lehrer 1, Usda 1, Oliver 1, Gwen Ifill 1, Wnyc 1,
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  PBS    Tavis Smiley    News/Business.  (2012)  
   Author Anne Lamott. (CC) (Stereo)  

    December 18, 2012
    2:30 - 3:00pm PST  

walmart committed $2 billion to fighting hunger in the u.s. as we work together, we can stamp hunger out. >> and by contributions to your pbs stations from viewers like you. thank you. tavis: always pleased to welcome anne lamott to the program. her latest project is called, i love this, "help, thanks, wow: the three essential prayers." i love the title. i love the book. i love the packaging. i love the layout. >> thank you.
tavis: it packs a powerful punch. how're people responding to a run the country? >> great, but i brought to a little something, a present for you when your mother. i brought a present. this is for you. this is a cross that the children at st. andrew's presbyterian made. that is the star of bethlehem and the chute of jesse. we bake them in the oven. this is the burleigh one, the roses, the animating love of the universe. -- the girly one, the roses, the animating love of the universe. tavis: my mother watches this show every night. >> where did you put that across? tavis: i will bring it home for christmas, mom.
♪ i'll be home for christmas ♪ >> get over-excited. tavis: i do that. i want to get right into this. i wanted to just read a passage and let you take it from there, from each of these three sections. help, thanks, wow. from the help section -- before i do that, why these three words? >> i always used help and thanks after i got sober in 1986. everything was, help, because your mind is so crazy. all of your best ideas are coming out. i would go, help, help me. i would always be heard. the phone would ring, the male would come. something would shift. i would be ok again. thank you, thank you.
like, i am back. then about 15 years ago, maybe more, i realized that all you had to do to ship your consciousness was to step outside. you don't go outside and go, it is a medium starry night here tonight. you step outside and see the stars and go, wow, every time. it is like being spritzed with a plant mister. you take the action and the inside. there is no thought that is going to set you free. it will be a spirit of waking back up and going, wow. tavis: i love it. it simplifies what so many of us struggle with, just trying to find a way to have a prayer life. i have decided, after talking to you so many times over the years, it is best to go right to your work. you write so powerfully and beautifully. from the help section, "there is
freedom in hitting bottom, in seeing that you won't be able to save for rescue your daughter, her spouse, his parents, or your career, relief in admitting you reached a place of great on knowing. this is a restoration can begin a because when you're still in the state of fixing the unfixable, everything that is engaged." >> it is so abusive to try to do that, too. everyone is on their heroes journey, but people don't need to be saved a rescue, especially by a tired grandmother trying to nag them and to be saving a different way. -- into behaving a different way. when someone has screwed up or come up empty, they are teachable. that is when i am. tavis: do we have to hit bottom
to have this reality check? >> i don't think so. especially as you get older, you start to catch yourself tipping off into this kind of blame. usually, the default place i go to is, who to blame, how can i change them? getting older for me is that you align yourself, like turning in a radio station a little bit better because you know it is there. it is not off. when i was number, i had to hit -- the willingness came from the pain. when i had enough pain, i would say to god, bitterly, what? then i would be teachable. tavis: what do you imagine god must think about it the only way for us to learn -- you said you don't have to -- what must he think of those of us who don't seem to get it until we hit our head against the wall so many times? >> you see it in children all
the time, having fits, tantrums, and you know god sees the preciousness in their creation. we all fall so short. i really think god sees me as i see my grandson who is 3. he might have an episode sometimes or announce that i am not his big super spider-man girl anymore. because i am older, i roll my eyes and say, whatever. my house, my kitchen, a comeback. i think it got kind of rolls his or horizon goes, whatever. i am here when your ready again. tavis: "gratitude begins in our hearts and dovetails into behavior. it almost always makes you willing to be of service, which is where the joint presides. means you're willing to stop being such a jerk when you are aware of all that has been given to you in your lifetime and in the past few days.
it is hard not to be humbled and pleased to give back." i love that. it almost always makes you willing to be of service, which is where the joy resides. it took me awhile in my life to come to that conclusion. joy presides in serving other people. >> we are hungry for what we have not quite got yet or achieved. we get it and then we are swiss cheesy in our spirit. you stop the train. stop the runaway train of narcissism and that self-esteem. it is the big cheeses thing, right? give the thirsty people water. we will pray -- big jesus thing. give the thirsty people water. we will pray. you stop the train. you get somebody water. i wear a gratitude bracelet a
lot because to me, gratitude is magnetic energy of holy spirit. somebody has got it, you are so drawn to them. and they are feeling their and blessing. tavis: two questions before we move on. what in your mind makes it so difficult for us to live in a place of gratitude? as children, we are taught to say thank you and be grateful. somewhere between childhood and adulthood, we get away, we abandon this notion of gratitude. the older i get, i must tell you, the less patience i have for people who don't show any gratitude. i will cut you off fast if i spend too much time and i realize you do not have gratitude. we live in a world where that is so on, and these days. i'm not saying, bowed down and genuflect, a grace note of
having that gratitude, how did we get away from that? >> i think that the speed and the massive quantities of money here does us -- geared us up. everything is speeding, racing. if you get this, you will be ok. if you can lose the weight, 10 pounds, you'll be happy again. to me, is kind of how i experience the double. they say the voice of the devil is sweet to hear. it does not tell you your garbage. it says, it is ok if you smoke a little bit. it is not a big deal. you might start smoking cigarettes again because the voice of the devil is saying it will not make a difference, or the culture will say, women need to be a certain weight, you should have a certain kind of hair, it should be soft and shinier it is not good. do something. it is like a spell. that is why i talk some much about the plant mister.
you wake up. i'm 58. it took me 50 years to realize i was a great beauty because the culture got its hands on me and said, buy, shop, achieve, lose weight, a gain weight. that is why i got dreadlocks. i wanted to look in the mirror and say, you are so beautiful. we have a situation here on our hands. i look in the mirror and go, you are so beautiful today, princess. it takes a radical act to stop listening to the voice of the culture and go, i have me, i got me back, the woman's movement gave me me back, the church gave me me back, i am chosen, i am safe, i am loved, and i go, thank you, thank you, thank you. then i can chase down an airplane, right? i could. tavis: i am trying to move on to wow. i cannot go yet.
i keep going "wow." there are two things to ask before i advance. that beautiful phrase you said a moment ago, it takes a radical act, it takes a radical act to stop listening to the voice of the culture. lord. that is the most difficult thing for us to do because we are bombarded with all kinds of messages every day. take a minute and tell me more about how we accomplished that, to find a way to stop listening to it and being dictated to by the voice of the culture. >> well, you start to realize, part of getting older, it is all a lie. it is like a fog machine in "one flew over the cuckoo's nest." it gets turned on and everybody gets foggy. partly, the willingness comes from the pain. you start to get older and think, i may have 20 more years. how much time and my going to
waste on my butt? 187th on the list of what matters here. people came and were somehow in love, somehow in union with the creator or with the animating intelligence of the universe, and then they are not here anymore. the rest of us, you and me, exhibit a and b, we are slogging around. we get summer spiritually and we hear the voice of "the new york times," like, ooh. then i have to have an awakening. i will get to the point of pain that i finally stopped hitting the snooze button and i go, we're starting over. that is what my faith gives me. i get to start my new 24 hours. whatever time it is, i don't even know what day it is, but at that time, right now, this
minute, we're starting over. there is presence and union. we are looking into something so much bigger than our individual egos or destinies' or careers. it is great that we can disseminate information and truth and carry it to people. that is the kind of water we give thirsty people sometimes with what we have figured out. only god will fill that hole. only love, only spirit. you get tired of being half here. always in the future, what is going to happen? there are lots of tools spiritually that people can use. if i wear a gratitude bracelet, it blesses me. i go, stop the train, take a breath. start over now. you kind of do your laws -- lamaz. breathe. tavis: these things are so very
important. that notion i raised a moment ago, it almost always makes you willing to be of service, which is where the joy resides. we live in a world where people think that joy is found in everything except loving and serving people, in what we possess, in who we are with, where we live, where we go to school, etc. what say you about how we get to a place of understanding that that is where the real joy in life presides, in serving others? >> i think you start to notice over the years. joyce, jesus, others, then you. uop -- pull up your ladder, i got mine. that is what the whole election as ben about. you have your own and
viciousness and wounded ego, you will throw up and get the usda stamp of approval, and you are emptier and crazier than you always were. when you show up, like woody allen used to say, it was 80% of life, you show up and use it with people. you need a cup of tea? i can sit with you for as long as you want. i have time. your filled up from inside. i would call it the holy spirit energy. it just feels like now we are one, just 40 minutes. that is maybe the best we can hope for here. if the culture tells you, do not be vulnerable -- it takes a long time and a lot of spiritual practice to discover that your vulnerability is where your strength is, because you take off all the false fronts, you take off the armor, you take of the turtle shell, and you understand you are completely safe. you are loved and your safer outside. it is like jesus and the
horribles dormancy. his point is, you are safer here than you will be anywhere in the world ever again. take it off. the willingness and the vulnerability is where we can be most permeable and where i can take you in. you can take me in. then we are bigger than just two. you know? tavis: my mother and i, your channeling my conversation. my mother and i last night had a conversation about the fact that love means making yourself vulnerable. we had a long, a two-hour conversation on the phone about this notion of vulnerability. i was explaining to her about a situation where something happened and i was kind of hurt by what somebody had said to me. in those instances where people say or do things to you that hurt you, you start to question whether or not you really want
to be in that love space, if you want to open yourself up to that. it does mean that you have to be vulnerable. i just find that we live in a world where people, people don't want to be hurt. people are more defensive now than ever. they are more needed this now, turning inward now, more than ever. who wants to be vulnerable? >> you do, but when you are in the love of space, it is ancient. it is newborn babies. it is life. the love space and a sense of wonder, because your present, is why we were even created. the culture tells you, put on the armor, get a better car, safer car, crash test, put on more make up, put on fancier this. but if you are a seeker, a person who has a spiritual calling, you want to take off a false fronts. you want to just be who you are
and the light from within can shine. that light, it is like lighthouses not running all over the island. we sit here, give off a little light because we love, and people say, would be talking about? the love space. all i want is the love space. i believe that is why i was created, to feel the wonder, to feel the presence, the weakness. -- awakeness. i think your mother and i probably agree on more than you and i do. [laughter] we always have a small fight. tavis: i would not doubt that. you're both very wise people. let me move on to wow, finally. "what can we say beyond wow in the presence of glorious art, in music so magnificent that it
cannot have originated solely on this side of things? wonder take your breath away and makes ruin for new breath. that is why we call it breathtaking. we are individuals and a time and space who are often greatly lost and then miraculously found." >> i once was lost and now am found. i am here. i do this thing with my kids at sunday school. we call it love and chosen. the culture does not tell you. especially if you're not a white male, the culture does not tell you you are loved and chosen. there is no way to becoming better believer. i'm a teacher. i will say, is anyone wearing -- you know how kids are. water the odds? i will say, you are loved and chosen. you sit here. yes, you. everybody. the culture does not tell us
that. if we can master this, if we can own this, not least it -- lease it, if we can only marry your achieve -- it is a complete lie. there times when a child or a very old man, a tree, ronald reagan -- don't even get me started -- seen one redwood, seen them all, right? i say, wow. that is a redwood. i will see a baby. god planted a sapling here. wow. to some degree, it is a choice. it is how alive are you willing to be? if i am willing to be alive, it may be hurts my skin a little bit, knocks me around a little bit, i am alive, and i am experiencing life as it goes past me and something catches my eye, then i will be going, wow, this is great.
i love this. tavis: you always make me think. how alive are you willing to be? >> over and over again. you get to start over. i am willing to be insanely and wildly alive. i am starting over again. tavis: back to my mother again. my mother, i did not get this when i was younger, but i'm getting it now as i am older. my mother raised 10 kids. my mother and father raised and kids. never had any money in her life. no college education. one of the wisest people i have ever known. what she loves more than anything else, other than serving god, is traveling the world. when she is on the road traveling, she calls me and the things that make her go wow are things i'm finally starting to appreciate, the redwoods, the snowcapped mountains. she travels and travels. >> takes your breath away.
fills you with spirit. it is a choice. it is a decision. people see little gray birds oliver were live and they say, their little gray birds. i say, look at that little guy. we will watch them. it will be solely alive. we're together. that, to me, is what we're talking about when we talk about god and prayer. tavis: i will close with this because it is always important for me to try to get to where people begin. if this is something, this conversation, this book has impacted you, and you want to know where to begin, that is a good place to close the conversation. "help, thanks, wow," if i were to begin practicing the presence of god for the first time today, it would help to begin by meeting the three most terrible truths of our existence, that we are so loved and in charge of so
little. >> so little. tavis: that is a serious place to start. so ruined, so loved, and in charge of so little. tavis: so ruined, so loved. i am not in charge of the whole rest of the world. if i were the west coast representative, i would be in charge of a lot more. tavis: i expect when you come to terms with that, we are ruined, where loved, we are in charge of almost nothing -- >> that is your freedom. you're not responsible. people reckitt -- wreck it. we have to bring it back. we can contribute some good. we will. we will show up and it will be fun to help restore what has
been stolen from us. tavis: there are three powerful essential prayers. "help, thanks, wow." i will take with me from this conversation tonight and wrestle with this framework, how will live by unwilling to be. anne, i love you. you are always welcome on this program. thank you for the gifts. that is our show for tonight. download the app. see you next time on pbs. until next time, good night from l.a., and as always, keep the faith. >> for more information on today's show, visit tavis smiley at tavis: joining me next time ms. marcus miller and a performance from his latest cd "renaissance." that is next time. we will see you then.
>> there is a saying that dr. king had that said there is always the right time to do the right thing. i just try to live my life every day by doing the right thing. we know that we are only halfway to completely eliminate hunger, and we have a lot of work to do. walmart committed $2 billion to fighting hunger in the u.s. as we work together, we can stamp hunger out. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
newshour has been provided by: >> music is a universal captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions and counteroffers on the table today, but no deal between president obama and speaker boehner to resolve the government's fiscal crisis. good evening. i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. on the newshour tonight, we get the latest on the search for an agreement from the "wall street journal's" carol lee and wnyc's todd zwillich. >> woodruff: then, we turn to the shootings in connecticut. ray suarez has our update, as some students return to school and two more families bury t